China Amends Criminal Law on Intellectual Property

Dan Xu

Dan Xu is a partner and is in charge of the firm’s Intellectual Property & Data Compliance practice.

On December 26, 2020 the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress voted to pass Amendment 11 to the Criminal Law.

The Chinese Criminal Law already includes several articles related to intellectual property crime, and Amendment 11 increases the maximum sentencing term under some circumstances from 7 to 10 years. We summarized the relevant articles below.

Article 213 increases the maximum fixed-term imprisonment from 7 to 10 years if a defendant is found to have used the same trademark on the same type of product or service without the permission of the registered trademark’s owner, when the circumstances are particularly serious.

Article 214 increases the maximum fixed-term imprisonment for knowingly selling counterfeit trademark goods from 7 to 10 years when the circumstances are particularly serious and/or the unlawful gains are huge.

Article 215 increases the maximum fixed-term imprisonment for manufacturing, without authorization, counterfeit trademark products and/or logos from 7 to 10 years when the circumstances are particularly serious.

Article 217 increases the maximum fixed-term imprisonment for copyright infringements from 7 to 10 years, in cases where the amount of illegal gains is huge, or when the consequences are particularly serious.

The amendment will take effect on March 1, 2021.

Our team of lawyers specialized in Intellectual property matters will keep you updated. Please reach out if you have any questions.